Labor Data Recap for May: US, UK, Canada, and Australia

Labor Data Recap for May: US, UK, Canada, and Australia

Last week, US and Canada released their jobs data while the UK and Australia released theirs this week. Taking a closer look at these labor market figures could provide clues on how these major economies might fare in the coming months.

First off, the US jobs release came in mostly in line with expectations, as the economy added 217,000 jobs in May and kept the jobless rate steady at 6.3%. Analysts were expecting to see a 214,000 rise in hiring and an increase in unemployment to 6.4% due to an improving participation rate.

Underemployment also showed an improvement during the month, along with a 0.2% pickup in average hourly earnings.

Over in Canada, the jobs situation wasn’t as rosy. The economy added only 25,800 jobs in May, not enough to make up for the large job losses in the previous month. Meanwhile, the jobless rate ticked up from 6.9% to 7.0% last month.

Apart from that, most of the latest jobs gains were simply a result of a rise in part-time work instead of full-time positions, suggesting that employment could fall again sooner or later. Wage growth also marked its fourth consecutive monthly decline, leading many to speculate about weaker spending in the coming months.

UK and Australia Jobs Data

Labor Data Recap for May: US, UK, Canada, and AustraliaEarlier this week, the UK surprised with a very strong jobs report, printing a 27,400 drop in unemployment and bringing its jobless rate down from 6.8% to 6.6%. This was better than the estimated 25,000 drop in joblessness and the 6.7% unemployment rate.

As for Australia, hiring was much weaker than expected as the economy actually lost 4,800 jobs in May. The previous month’s figure suffered a downgrade from 14,200 to 10,300, while the jobless rate managed to stay at 5.8%.

With the US and the UK showing strong labor data and Canada and Australia printing misses, traders might go for long USDCAD, GBPCAD, or GBPAUD trades or short AUDUSD setups.

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at